French Boutis

The past month or so I have been avidly working on designing more French Boutis patterns.  Today I published one just in time for Valentine’s Day on my Etsy site.


This French needlework technique is easy to do if you like handwork. Stitching the piece is rather like hand quilting, a small running stitch, on two pieces of batiste. Then the boutis yarn is drawn through the channels by inserting a tapestry needle from the back between the two layers of fabric. Voila!



In my kit I provide the pattern, instructions with photos and finishing technique, the white and pink batiste needed to complete two hearts, a white sun catcher and a pink sachet.  Also included are the two needles necessary for stitching and toothpicks needed for stuffing in the tail ends of the yarn cording.  Other materials you provide are white and pink thread, a ribbon or cord for finishing, and filling for your sachet.


I am working on about six other designs as well.  If you love handwork and would love to try this ancient French Needlework Art, give it a try.  There is also a digital pattern available. It’s a small piece, easy to work up quickly…just in time for Valentine’s Day! I also teach French Boutis to anyone interested.

Thank you to my dear French friends, Nicole, who introduced me to this beautiful art nearly 15 years ago with a gift for my newly born granddaughter, to Maggy and Nicole, who have supplied me with lots of books and magazines for inspiration, to Elisabeth, who sent me a piece of her own hand worked Boutis, and last but not least to Elizabeth from Canada at Seams French who shares this passion with me!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! (The comment form is at the top of the page under the date)

Stay tuned for more finishing work next time!

Amities, Averyclaire



31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anne Leonas
    Jan 28, 2017 @ 13:50:16


    These hearts are absolutely beautiful! Another indication of how talented you are! I’m sure they will be a big hit with all!!! ❤️❤️❤️


    Sent from my iPad



  2. Catherine
    Jan 28, 2017 @ 14:06:44

    Such beautiful designs! I have never tried this type of work, but I think you may have tempted me here to give it a go!


  3. Patsye
    Jan 28, 2017 @ 16:22:25

    Ohhh, these are beautiful. And while it sounds simple, I bet I couldn’t do it.


    • averyclaire
      Jan 28, 2017 @ 16:36:05

      Hi Patsye! Oh I’ll bet you could! If you can do a small quilting stitch, then you can do this. But you do so MANY other
      LOVELY things, perhaps you wouldn’t have time for this as well.!!! Thanks for your kind words.


  4. Deb from Frugal Little Bungalow
    Jan 28, 2017 @ 17:02:04

    I have determined to not start anything new right now but these are beautiful and so intriquing…going on to the ‘bucket list’ for the future! 🙂


  5. Elizabeth Janzen
    Jan 28, 2017 @ 21:45:23

    That’s a beautiful, elegant design, without being overwhelming for anyone wanting to give boutis a try. It’s a perfect starter kit for learning this traditional, unique French technique.


  6. Brigitte
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 02:56:27

    Oh wonderful, this boutis heart. So very different from other needlework.


  7. KerryCan
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 05:20:17

    I like the understated elegance of the technique–some of the examples on your Pinterest board are mind boggling! How does the technique differ from trapunto?


    • averyclaire
      Jan 29, 2017 @ 06:06:25

      Trapunto usually has a batting between two pieces of cloth. Classic French Boutis is done with two pieces of batiste without batting, stitched together with a running stitch or back stitch, then corded by pulling cotton yarn through the channel from behind piercing only the back fabric. This gives a raised relief. After blocking the piece in warm water, the “holes” in the back “heal up” and the piece is translucent and completely reversible. On the pink one I used Dupioni silk for the elegance, although in my kit I include hand dyed pink batiste as it is easier to work with. My kit is meant for those who just wish to “try” it for the first time. I would love to get women interested in this ancient art.


  8. Gail
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 07:39:42

    What an interesting way to add some texture.


    • averyclaire
      Jan 29, 2017 @ 09:04:57

      TY Gail…I love boutis, especially the traditional white type. I have done some trapunto as well. It is the top of my facebook page. I have visited your lovely blog. You have a lot of beautiful quilts in progress!


  9. Ma Mame
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 08:08:15

    Délicat ces petits cœurs Maintenant il faut continuer ces petits points avec le vrai boutis traditionnel que nous pratiquons dans la région du Var , en France Je me tiens à votre disposition pour des dessins ( si je peux le scanner donc pas trop grand) amicalement et merci de faire connaitre notre tradition


    • averyclaire
      Jan 29, 2017 @ 09:01:15

      Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate your offer of drawings. I am attempting to design my own at this time. I very love the traditional boutis, but like to experiment with other small things as well. I love the white boutis quilts…perhaps one day I will make one!


  10. Carole @ From My Carolina Home
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 08:18:22

    That is just lovely!!


  11. Quilter Kathy
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 09:05:35

    Very pretty projects!


  12. Carol
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 10:57:47

    Really love seeing your beautiful work, Karen–this design is lovely and I really enjoyed reading more about French Boutis…

    Hope you are enjoying a lovely, relaxing Sunday!


    • averyclaire
      Jan 29, 2017 @ 11:45:37

      TY Carol…I enjoy seeing your needlework just as much. Alas I don’t blog often enough. Glad you enjoy reading about boutis. It’s a great handwork project, especially for those who enjoy hand quilting. Hope the rest of your winter is not too cold and peaceful!


  13. CathieJ
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 11:02:31

    Those hearts are so pretty. I never heard of this technique before. It is beautiful.


    • averyclaire
      Jan 29, 2017 @ 11:43:37

      Thanks Cathie…If you like hand needlework you will like this. It’s a tiny quilting stitch (a running stitch) and that’s it. Then you cord in the channels you have just sewn. My kit has great instructions.


  14. Rachel
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 16:51:28

    What a beautiful technique!


  15. Valerie Laird
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 17:51:41

    Gorgeous work, Karen, … and thank you for leaving your sweet comment on my blog. Hugs, Val


  16. Sheryl
    Jan 30, 2017 @ 05:12:27

    Beautiful hearts Karen, I love this work and didn´t know the name of the technique but remember doing a design on the front of a jacket about 25 years ago very similar but using my sewing machine.


    • averyclaire
      Jan 30, 2017 @ 06:02:05

      Your jacket sounds lovely! I tried this with a sewing machine once as well, but the hand work is out of this world! Love the peaceful stitching by hand!


  17. Sharon Chapman
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 17:10:32

    Thank you for visiting my blog. Your work is so beautiful. Once I get my studio done and the house ready to sell I hope to get back to my stitching.


  18. Marlene Bush
    Mar 11, 2017 @ 17:26:40

    What pretty hearts! blessings, marlene


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